MASK OFF is a smart mask detecting system that keeps the anti-maskers away! Our device uses computer vision to detect a mask on someone's face, and consequently unlocks or locks the door to your establishment. It works on everyone, from your neighborhood Karens to your neighborhood dogs. MASK OFF implements a face mask detection model that prevents non-maskers from entering a unit. All a user has to do is press a button, and based on whether our camera detects a mask or not, a signal is sent to a raspberry pi that unlocks a door. We initially implemented an open source neural network model using Keras and Tensorflow. Then, we integrated the model with the raspberry pi in order to have a button set off the unlocking signal.

Project GitHub


SpacePainter is a multi-axis CNC light painting robot. Essentially, it is a robotic arm that moves an LED in programmed patterns. When photographed by a long-exposure camera, the robot's path gets traced out in space by the light. It can be used to create cool effects in photos or as a multimedia installation piece. It is built with custom 3D printed parts and is controlled by an Arduino microcontroller. It uses two stepper motors to move and an Adafruit Neopixel as an LED. Over the course of this semester, we have designed, built, and programmed the entire robot from scratch. The robot can paint five different light paintings and we are working on adding more!

Project GitHub


Smart Lock is an IoT lock that can be controlled from your phone. Our front end is connected to a server that communicates with an Arduino. When the Arduino receives a message, it opens or closes the lock depending on the message received. We designed a custom lock using CAD that can be attached to a deadbolt, and programmed the embedded system code as well as the communications and backend of the project.

Project GitHub


The goal of our project was to make a tic-tac-toe board that plays the game for you! You can make moves using voice commands, and X and O pieces will move across the board to the correct locations on the grid. You can also either play against a friend, or against an AI at three different difficulty levels. To implement speech recognition, we used a React web app and React API that listens to your voice through any laptop microphone. The moves you make are then sent back to our Python back-end which utilizes the Flask web framework. Here, our AI algorithm determines what moves to make in response, and our motor control code moves stepper motors to place pieces on the physical grid. The board itself is a 2 axis motor stage with linear slides, pulleys, and 3D-printed mounts. An electromagnet that is moved around by the motors turns on and off to pull magnetic pieces across the top of the board.

Project GitHub



Covid Simulation is a guided build that aims to simulate the spread of covid using a Respiratory Exchange Model. Using math and physics models, we generated equations of trajectories of particles and later, total exposure to airborne covid particles. We used a lot of python programming, including libraries such as matplotlib and numpy, and also gained an understanding of the physical phenomena that are at play when quantifying the spread of a particle through the air. This guided build had an emphasis on Python programming skills and was headed by Radhika Bhuckory.


This guided build used Autodesk Fusion 360 CAD software to design a custom catapult. We created complex geometric shapes to form the different parts of the catapult, including the base, the arches, and the arm. We placed an emphasis on 3D design skills and 3D printing to give students a good understanding of how to plan, design, and implement CAD models. Headed by Ashwan Kadam.


In this very applicable guided build project, we learned how to hack a TI84 graphing calculator so it has internet communciation capabilities. There was an emphasis on Arduino programming skills (specifically, using an ESP8266) and learning how to navigate the treacherous landscape of TI Basic coding. The PM for IOT TI84 was Devin Mui.


The goal of this guided build is learning how to interface an Arduino with other sensors, and using Processing IDE to visualize data. An ultrasonic sensor was used to gather data for the sonar system, and rotated using a servo to gather data around the periphery of the sensor. We also used serial protocols to communicate between the Arduino and the computer, which then visualizes the data using Processing. Headed by PM Efaz Muhaimen.


The goal of this project is to use bevel gears to create a cool polygonal shape. When you rotate one gear, it distorts the shape, but as you continue to rotate it gradually returns to its original form. This GB not only taught members to CAD model individual parts, but also connect them to form a functioning composite design. As an added bonus, members created their own custom Adobe Illustrator designs and imported them onto their CAD models! Led by PM Ashwan Kadam.


As it name may suggest, this GB taught users how create PCB schematics, and then place them onto the board using PCB design software. In doing this, members not only learned how to use Autodesk Eagle PCB design software, but also how to program their LED matrix microcontroller with an Arduino and solder parts onto their PCB board. PMed by Efaz Muhaimen.


This GB introduced some crazy breadboarding skills, implementing resistor ladders, OP AMPS, and more into their design. In addition to this, they used Arduino programming to generate the various waveforms required to produce musical sounds and play them through their circuit. This GB had an emphasis on arduino programming and breadboarding, and was led by PM Devin Mui.

Spring 2020 PROJECTS

Makers ARMy

We are building a robotic arm that is controlled by a sleeve that is linked to the arm through Bluetooth. The robot then uses information from the sleeve to mimic the user's motions. To build this project, we used CAD skills to model the arm, electrical engineering skills to wire the robots, and embedded programming & robotics skills to get the arm and sensors working.

Project GitHub

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not is a project geared to making sure you never forget your valuables at home ever again. Our project involves a central Arduino that is located in your home. It uses Bluetooth Low Energy to communicate with peripheral devices located on your wallet, keys and any other essentials you don't want to leave behind. If the system detects you leaving the house without any of these, it will buzz, reminding you that you left something behind.

Project GitHub


Robonaldo is a robot that is designed to autonomously drive while avoid obstacles, track a soccer ball, and shoot on a goal. Our project uses Robot Operating System (ROS), and an Nvidia Jetson as the brains of the robot. In the future we are planning to use reinforcement learning to teach the bot to drive, and install an appendage that allows Robonaldo to pull in and shoot a soccer ball. Other aspects of engineering that have been used in Robonaldo include computer vision, Arduino programming, Gazebo simulations, and CAD design.

Project GitHub


The goal of our project is to create a guitar that can emulate the sounds of other instruments when it is strummed. Our project consists of four phases: CAD, Manufacturing, Electrical Design, and Programming. The technical skills we needed included CAD software proficiency, electrical/wiring experience, programming experience for arduino, MIDI knowledge, and manufacturing skills.

DJ Roomba

The goal of our project was to build a robot from scratch and then add the functionality to follow people around and play music. It consisted of three main parts: (1) Physically putting together and wiring the robot, (2) Developing the software so that it could follow a single person, and (3) Adding in the "extras" like playing music from a bluetooth speaker and designing an enclosure for the robot. DJ Roomba required a variety of technical skills, covering a lot from both hardware and software. Our work mainly fit into either embedded development, computer vision, or the general, overarching category of robotics.

Project GitHub

Smart Pen

We wanted to develop a pen that would turn hand written text into a digital document. We believe that this could help both in classes that do not allow laptops and for people who prefer to take notes by hand. We wanted to create a machine learning algorithm to be able to recognize what is being written and later upload it to a computer to be digitized.

Flip Off

The goal of this project is to make our own Flip-Disc display entirely from scratch. In order to be able to make the largest possible display with our budget, we have spent a lot of time designing a pixel that is easy to make, cheap to produce, and made with recycled materials. Once the display is built we will display it in the Ming Hsieh Institute Lounge -- we arer still deciding what to show on screen.

Disaster Relief Spider

The goal of our project was to create an autonomous spider robot that is capable of traversing different terrains and climb over obstacles. The robot is 3d-printed and consists of 8 legs with 3 servo motors each connected to a BeagleBone Blue. The spider can be controlled either through a direct connection to the BeagleBone Blue or wirelessly with a controller. An Nvidia Jetson Nano with an attached camera adds computer vison capability allowing the robot to move autonomously. The technical skills involved in the project include coding in Python, integrating computer vision capabilities, programming a microcontroller to control motors, adding Bluetooth communication, and creating CAD models.

Project GitHub

2018-19 PROJECTS

Bits Please Magic Mirror

Our team built a "magic mirror" which is essentially a smart mirror IoT device that is able to access a myriad of helpful information from basic things like the weather, time, and date, to reminders from Google Calendar, a Spotify player, and the top social media and news headlines. It has the unique feature of complimenting you when you get closer to it (with the help of an ultrasonic sensor). We configured the brain of the mirror (the raspberry pi) with modules from an open source framework and modified them for our mirror. We also built our frame from scratch. Our team got to explore all types of fun technologies and modules through building this mirror, and had the best time putting it together!

Boba Babes

Our project was building an IoT Boba Machine which autonomously makes our favorite drink: boba tea. It brews tea in hot water and adds milk, tapioca pearls, and honey. We built and designed the physical machine from the frame and various apparatuses to brew the tea and put in the necessary ingredients to make delicious boba. We also connected the machine to a phone app where you tell it when to start and how to adjust sweetness. Overall, we're a really chill team who likes to have fun but also get work done. This project involves many different components - mobile app design, CAD, working with motors/sensors, IoT integration, working with tools (i.e. drill, band saw, hammer), and is very hands on.


Originally inspired by the CHARIOT project headed by Professor Krishnamachari, HADES aims to create wearable attention trackers for use in the classroom. This allows a teacher to track how many of her students are actually learning the material and allows for her to adjust mid-lesson to maximize student potential. To create the wearable tracker, we used currently existing wearable technology combined with biosensors to track physical symptoms of decreased attention span, including heart rate, body temperature, and galvanic skin response. The sensors, combined with a wifi-enabled microcontroller, are packaged into one single glove, allowing for the child’s ease of wear and durability.


Micromouse is an existing international competition in which teams build robots that can autonomously navigate mazes and find the fastest path through said maze. Our project was to build a robot capable of performing in a Micromouse event, and then improve that as time goes on to make ourselves more competitive and well-known within the scene. Alongside this, we built a simulator for different maze discovering and solving algorithms, which we used to test our algorithms while our robot was being built.


Robosketch is a drawing robot that uses pens to draw on 8.5x11" paper. It can draw arbitrary shapes and scaled vector graphics.

Smart Rebounder

The Smart Rebounder is a basketball hoop attachment aimed at improving athlete shot training. It attaches to the rim of the basket and acts as a slide to funnel make baskets back to the shooter. It uses OpenCV and servo motors to track the shooter’s position and rotate the attachment to point in the direction of the athlete in order to funnel their made baskets back in their direction.

Stratos Speaker System

The goal of this project was to build a professional-grade home speaker system that leverages IoT technologies to provide audio to different areas of the house. For our project we have built a unit that will receive music streams from multiple devices and output them to the appropriate series of speakers.


We have constructed a musical instrument that relies solely on analog electronics and an interesting EM phenomenon. We've breadboarded a circuit based on a guide we found online, and have put it on a Printed Circuit Board (PCB).



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